Dr Adam Mosley

About Me

Dr Mosley read Natural Sciences at Cambridge University as an undergraduate, before deciding that he preferred working in libraries to laboratories. After studying for an MPhil in History & Philosophy in Science, he embarked upon a PhD in the history of early modern astronomy. Before joining the History Department at Swansea, he was a Junior Research Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge, with an affiliation to the Cambridge University Department of History and Philosophy of Science. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2008.

Areas of Expertise

  • early modern astronomy
  • early modern science
  • cosmography
  • book history
  • history of museums
  • material culture of the sciences


  1. & Christoph Rothmann's Discourse on the Comet of 1585: An Edition and Translation with Accompanying Essays. Leiden: Brill.
  2. & 'Astronomy and Astrology'. In Philip Ford (†), Jan Bloemendal and Charles Fantazzi (Ed.), Brill's Encyclopaedia of the Neo-Latin World. (pp. 667-677). Leiden: Brill.
  3. 'Past Portents Predict: Cometary Historiae and Catalogues in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries'. In Dario Tessicini and Patrick J. Boner (Ed.), Celestial Novelties on the Eve of the Scientific Revolution 1540-1630. (pp. 1-32). Florence: Leo S. Olschki.
  4. 'Reading the Heavens: Observation and Interpretation of Astronomical Phenomena in Learned Letters c. 1600'. In van Miert, Dirk (Ed.), Communicating Observations in Early Modern Letters (1500-1675): Epistolography and Epistemology in the Age of Scientific Revolution. (pp. 115-134). London: The Warburg Institute.
  5. 'Vincenzo Maria Coronelli's Atlante Veneto and the diagrammatic tradition of cosmography'. Journal for the History of Astronomy 42, 27-53.

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  • HI-M01 Historical Methods and Approaches

    This module provides training in advanced historical research. It is designed to introduce students to methods of historical investigation, writing, and presentation, and to important historical resources (including archives, collections of sources, and museums). Attention will be given to the use of IT in historical work work as well as more traditional paper-based methods.

  • HI-M38 New Departures in the Writing of History

    This module provides an introduction to advanced historiography. It is designed to develop students’ awareness of traditional historiographical concerns alongside their knowledge current trends and new directions in writing and thinking about the past.

  • HI-M39 Research Folder

    This module is designed to help students to identify a dissertation topic appropriate to their interests and expertise, and to tackle the problems of methodology, develop the research techniques, and undertake the project planning which are the necessary preliminaries to researching and writing a 20,000 word dissertation.

  • HI-M58 Oceans of History: Themes and Concepts in Maritime and Imperial History

    The emergence of Asian and South American states as major players on the world markets and a widening consensus on the need for tackling looming ecological problems from a global perspective are crucial in explaining the demise of Eurocentrism as a paradigm for the interpretation of human cultures across the globe. This module will introduce students to the historical origins and background of some of the current globalization debates by investigating a selection of key themes in maritime and imperial history. Subjects typically covered will include maritime trade, commerce, and migration and their disruption by piracy, privateering, and warfare, the impact of technological innovations and their environmental costs, the cultural imprint made by the dissemination of European religion and Imperial and racial ideologies. The most influential concepts and historical debates will be investigated to illustrate the changing perceptions of Europe’s presence in the non-European world and the economic, cultural, and ecological legacy of its Empires to the present day.

  • HI-M80 Directed Reading in History

    Under the guidance of an expert supervisor, students analyse developments in research and historiography relating to a topic in History which they choose from a wide range of options.

  • HIH240 Europe 1500-1650: Renaissance, Reformation and Religious War

    This course examines the turbulent period in the history of Europe (including Britain), which encompassed the spread of Renaissance artistic and literary values beyond the Italian peninsula, the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, and conflicts such as the French Wars of Religion, the Dutch Revolt, and the Thirty Years’ War. The module will explore not only the political significance of these events, and their effects on the ruling classes, but also their implications for wider European society and culture. Particular attention will be paid to using the knowledge acquired to understand written and visual sources produced in the period.

  • HIH260 From Athens to Los Alamos: Science in the Ancient & Modern Worlds

    While developments in science and scientific medicine have played a key part in the shaping the modern world, the contrast between twenty-first century knowledge and the knowledge of our ancestors can make it easy to overlook continuities in the study of nature over the centuries. So too can the image of science as, in some sense, an apolitical enterprise divorced from its social and cultural settings. This module will take a long view of the development of western science, beginning in the ancient world and ending in the twentieth century. It will study scientific institutions, theories, and methods, and demonstrate how these - along with the reasons for studying nature - have changed over time and have both shaped and been shaped by society and culture. As part of the attempt to understand the significance of the changing scientific enterprise to the history of western civilization, it will address the question of what constitutes science and consider debates about when it came into being.

  • HIH3300 History Dissertation

    The History dissertation is a free-standing, 40-credit module that runs across both semesters of Level Three. Candidates conduct research upon a subject of their choice, devised in consultation with a member of staff teaching for the degrees in History, and concerning a topic that falls within staff research and teaching interests.


  • An investigation of the relationship between Science and Politics in inter-war Europe. (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Jill Lewis